Posted Oct 28 2015

Coherence - This Movie Mind-Fuckingly Rocks

Dir: James Ward Byrkit

Starring Emily Baldoni, Nicholas Brendon, Maury Sterling, Lorene Scafaria, Alex Manugian

 A group of friends meet for a dinner party. A comet goes by. Weird stuff starts to happen…That’s the basic premise of Byrkit’s low budget, sci-fi, “Hollywood Here I Am” calling card. But it becomes so much more than that.

Micro budget to the extreme, the movie starts well, simply setting up the characters, their relationships, their evening – all kept tight with some effective hard edits. Then the premise sets in – and takes over.

The comet cracks the screens of their phones, the lights go out save for one other house in the neighbourhood, two blocks down. Two of them take their colour coded glo-sticks and go to investigate – and find their house. And they’re in it. After that we’re off on a beautifully trippy piece of sci-fi mind-fuckery, in which one parallel universe could possibly be many, in which one person in this eight gathered for dinner could be many interpretations of themselves. And each other.  And in which – due to the writer/director’s non-existent budget and admirable imagination, we rarely ever leave the one house. Even if we do, we end up back in the one house. (Or is it?) Thus this science fiction movie moves into horror haunted house territory in beautifully realised shifts in tone.

This is a film full of ideas, cleverly and inventively realised. It is smart, provocative and confounding in equal measure. A more or less unknown cast are all believable and engaging. As their predicament grows, they bring us with them. Just thank God Byrkit didn’t opt to have someone videoing the dinner party and make this a found footage film! His often handheld, often panicked, perfectly uncertain photography more than matches – and captures - the mood.

In short, this is low-budget, American indie filmmaking at its best, embracing its limitations to further its ingeniousness and impact.

You can keep Jupiter Ascending and its mega billion budget – this is the best science fiction film we’ve seen in ages.


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